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Ken Block turns San Francisco into urban playground for Gymkhana 5

Tyre torturer Ken Block is back and he’s brought another of his Gymkhana videos with him. For Gymkhana 5, the legendary hoonigan takes to the streets and bridges of San Francisco. Make sure you look both ways before you cross, yeah?

Ken Block shows off a cheap, soon to be painful form of air travel for his latest video.
Ken Block shows off a cheap, soon to be painful form of air travel for his latest video.

The action starts with Block screaming along an empty Oakland Bay Bridge at top speed towards what appears to be an equally empty San Francisco. It looks like the scene of a zombie movie where the only surviving member of humanity is Block himself. Ken enters the town, sideways, before executing inch-perfect drifts around everything in his path.

Block makes excellent use of San Fran’s cable cars and enormous hills, turning several into impromptu ramps, catching massive amounts of air in his souped up Fiesta. At one stage, he even catches air whilst going sideways, executing an airborne jump drift of the sort young boys can only dream of.

The nine minute video also includes a cameo by motocross supremo Travis Pastrana, who engages in a few wheelies and stoppies as Block runs rings around around him. The video winds down with Block doing donuts on a barge in the San Francisco Bay as commuters drive along the bridge, oblivious to the awesome going on beneath them.

Whether it’s the best in the Gymkhana series is up for debate. It’s certainly an improvement on the previous instalment, and shutting down large sections of an entire city to use as your urban playground is a nice touch.

We also like the new camera angles including aerial shots and the helmet-cam, which gives viewers an insight into how busy Block is inside the cockpit. His actions might looks smooth from the outside, but he’s constantly sawing at the wheel, pulling the handbrake and yanking on the sequential shifter to keep the car pointed in the right wrong direction.

Is this Block’s best work? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook.


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